We bring you South Africa’s top luxury bucket list item – the safari holiday – in pictures. Sit back and enjoy a safari photo diary that shows some classic moments in a typical day on safari in South Africa. We have selected images that, collectively, capture the atmosphere and activities that exemplify the luxury safari experience in South Africa.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Welcome to Africa. Your safari in the South African wilderness will be an experience always cherished and never forgotten. Here, at Makweti Safari Lodge in Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, your welcome to the wilderness is accompanied by an African drumbeat.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

The wilderness is an especially enchanting place as it wakes up at the start of day. Fresh and beautiful, a dawn safari is a must-do, to see a variety of animals before the heat of the day sets in. This rhino sighting was with Sabi Sabi Lodges in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

In the early morning you may be lucky enough to see hippo, before the day warms up and they then tend to keep under the water for the sake of their sensitive skins. This sighting was at Motswari in the Timbavati.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Guests are enjoying this close-up view of a giraffe in Gondwana Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Gondwana is situated in the Mossel Bay area, which makes it a great safari experience to incorporate on a Garden Route holiday.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Curious nyala sighted in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa whilst on safari at Sabi Sabi Lodges.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Zebra sighting at Ekuthuleni Lodge in the malaria-free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve of Limpopo, which forms part of the beautiful Waterberg region. Views are majestic in this area and sweep vast savannah plains.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A sighting of rhino after their mud bath, at Jabulani Safari in Kapama Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa. Relais & Chateaux accredited, this lodge can be counted on to provide outstanding accommodation, cuisine, facilities and service, and a memorable Big 5 safari. 

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Staff at Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve, North-West, set up a breakfast feast on the tree-shaded deck, for guests to return to after the morning game drive.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Staff at Motswari in the Timbavati prepare for a breakfast feast when guests return from their safari drive.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Wildlife viewing is not limited to safari drives. Animals do sometimes enter camp, which adds to the excitement. Here, guests at Singita Lebombo in Kruger National Park are treated to an elephant sighting over a meal.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Have a swim between safari adventures, or settle yourself on a comfy lounger with your book and a tall, cooling drink. Gorgeous pool decks facing the wilderness are very much a feature of luxury safaris in South Africa, such as this one in Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand, South Africa.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Watching elephants from the swimming pool at Imbali Safari Lodge situated in a private concession of Kruger National Park, South Africa. At a luxury safari lodge in South Africa you can expect to live very closely with the wilderness.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

At a luxury safari lodge in South Africa, your suite will very likely have a private plunge pool. This is ideal for a quick dip, or for private time away from other guests. This is at Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge, a stunning safari sanctuary in South Africa’s Sabi Sands.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Guided wilderness walks are optional activities at many luxury lodges. A walk is a fantastic way to experience the finer details of the wilderness – spoor, insects, spider webs, dung middens, plants, and so much more – there are so many fascinating things to learn! This walk is with guides in Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa. There are four different Kapama Lodges to stay at.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

On a bush walk, your guide will show you the smaller wonders of the wilderness. Guests out on a bush walk enjoy this little tortoise at Mount Camdeboo in the Eastern Cape.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Guests on a foot safari in Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Little Karoo come upon this beautiful cheetah while out walking. This reserve offers accommodation in a choice of three wonderful lodges, one of which is tented and one of catering specifically for families.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Enjoy lunch on a beautiful tree-shaded deck, just an arm’s reach away from the wilderness. A fresh, wholesome lunch is being served here at Singita Ebony, a superfine safari lodge that stands beside the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Body pampering in the embrace of the wilderness is a wonderful way to relax between safari adventures. This treatment is being done at Singita Sweni, a splendid, contemporary private safari lodge set on the edge of a river in a concession area of Kruger National Park.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A fully equipped gym is a feature at many luxury safari lodges, so for the fitness-minded, there’s no need to miss out on regular training. This can be done between safari excursions, with great views of the wilderness. This is the gym in Pumba Private Game Reserve in Eastern Cape, not too far from Port Elizabeth.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

The second safari drive of the day usually departs in the late afternoon, when the heat of the day starts to subside. Here, guests in Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Timbavati set off on the afternoon / evening safari adventure.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A fabulous buffalo sighting, the buffalo having a late-afternoon bath and offering a taxi service to some birds. This was at Amakhosi Safari Lodge in the Amakhosi Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. 

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Pause to celebrate sunset in the wilderness on your late afternoon safari drive. This is a magical time of day in the wilds. After clinking glasses and watching the sun set, the drive will continue until after dark. This sundowner stop is in Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands.Wildlife

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A lion sighting on safari with Inyati Game Lodge in Sabi Sands, South Africa. Inyati is set on the banks of the Sand River and is a popular choice for a “Big 5” safari, with very rewarding wildlife sightings.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Safaris departing from the lodge in the late afternoon extend until after dark, so that guests have the chance to see some of Africa’s nocturnal beasts. You may be lucky enough, for example, to see a leopard. Leopard sightings are frequent in Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. This sighting was at MalaMala, one of South Africa’s most outstanding safari lodges.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Much of life is lived outdoors on safari in South Africa. At this wonderful outdoor bar at Garonga Safari Camp in Limpopo Province, you can drink a toast to a spectacular day in the wilderness.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Most safari lodges have an enclosure in the camp for fireside dinners under the stars. Here, tables are set for dinner in the boma at Dulini, a luxury lodge in the Sabi Sands.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A wilderness dinner in Samara Private Game Reserve. This is a wilderness of 70 000 protected acres in the malaria-free Great Karoo of South Africa. All of the ‘Big Five’ inhabit this world, and guests who come here are greatly inspired by Samara’s various conservation projects.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Dinner could also be a private affair, if you choose that, on the deck of your suite. Here, the table is laid for a couple to enjoy dinner alone at Dulini Leadwood, where the suites overlook the Sand River in Sabi Sands, South Africa. 

luxury safari south africa photo diary

African night skies are ideal for star gazing, and several luxury lodges have equipment at hand for guests to enjoy the night skies. Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands has a bush observatory for this purpose.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

After a splendid dinner, make your way back to your room for the night. It could well be along an enchanting, lantern-lit path like this one at Kichaka Game Lodge in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

A bath at the end of a day on safari can be a very welcome indulgence! Several luxury safari lodges in South Africa offer the indulgence of an outdoor bath tub, a wonderful way to have a soak at the end of an eventful day in Africa. This Star Bath is at Garonga Safari Camp in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

Bed down in a gorgeous suite, offering all the comforts anyone could want for. This accommodation is offered at Hopewell Private Game Reserve in the Port Elizabeth area of the Eastern Cape.

luxury safari south africa photo diary

If you’d like to have the option of sleeping outdoors, you could opt for a stunning Starbed Suite at Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Mail us about your safari in South or Southern Africa, or call +27 21 797-7122 if you’d like to speak to us about your trip.